Sunday, May 6, 2007

Shin Bet uses torture regularly, B'Tselem report says

Human rights organization publishes report saying almost all Palestinian detainees suffer physical, mental abuse during interrogations, despite High Court ruling that limits use of violence against prisoners. Group calls on government to ban torture immediately

"The Israeli security forces regularly abuse and torture Palestinian detainees, despite a High Court of Justice ruling from 1999 limiting the use of force in investigations, the B'Tselem human rights group reported Sunday.

Based on the testimonies of 73 prisoners, gathered between July 2005 and January 2006, the report reveals that all detainees suffer different forms of abuse and violence against them while in custody.

Sixty-eight percent of the detainees interviewed for the report said that they were subjected to complete or almost complete detachment from the outside world throughout their interrogation; 64 percent reported that they were held in solitary confinement and experienced sensory deprivation; 54 percent complained of sleep deprivation; 73 percent said that they were withheld food or provided with poor quality food during their questioning. Almost all detainees (96 percent) said that they were kept bound in painful positions; 73 percent complained of being subjected to verbal abuse and humiliation, and 64 percent said they suffered threats such as the arrest of close family members or the razing of their house. The report also revealed that 49 percent of the detainees were beaten and 67 percent reported suffering at least one physical injury.

"It can be stated that the Shin Bet's routine interrogation policy mostly includes violating the prisoners' human rights and the use of measures aimed at breaking their spirit and obtaining information from them against their free will and contrary to what the High Court of Justice defined as fair and reasonable questioning," the report said......"

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